The recent series of dastardly and heinous attacks in places as dispersed as Baghdad, Beirut, Bamako, Kabul and Paris by myriad terrorist outfits ranging from the Taliban to Islamic State and al-Qaeda hold several important lessons for international efforts to counter terrorism.
Construction of walls between Ukraine and occupied territories will further divide people.
A number of years ago you'd embarked on a number of travellings around the world to see a series of walls. These were not just the usual walls, but the walls dividing society and people. Can you tell us why did you embark on these journeys?
Last week had no shortage of shocking images to illustrate our collective paralysis in the face of the Mediterranean refugee crisis. A three year old boy dead on a beach, waves lapping around his shoes. Thousands of forcibly displaced people marching through the heart of Europe watched by silent onlookers. Borders going back up in Schengen under the guise of traffic control and migrant searches.
In an organisation as durable and complex as the United Nations, opportunities for reform do not come along very often. It is also singularly rare for Ireland to have a debate about its defence commitments. So 2015, the year when the UN conducts a review of peacekeeping operations and the Government prepares a White Paper on defence, must not go to waste.
A number of European countries are considering playing a greater military role in UN peacekeeping. However, they have many concerns about the UN's systems for managing missions, which differ markedly from NATO and EU standards. In this paper, based on in-depth interviews with Irish officers and policy-makers and UN officials, Edward Burke and Jonathan Marley give detailed insights into their experiences and lessons.
Lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence
In April 2015, CIC Associate Director Barnett Rubin joined the Danish Institute for International Studies for a seminar on Afghanistan's recent history and lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence. He kicked off the discussions with a keynote speech on Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.
Rich states and UN peacekeeping: time to lead by example?
The UN Secretary-General’s High-level Independent Panel has now commenced its review of peace operations as the call for peacekeeping reform once again tops the agenda. The continuing imbalance in global peacekeeping troop and police contributions leads some to question whether rich states, including the UK, are pulling their weight.
The violent Basque separatist group ETA took shape in Franco's Spain, yet claimed the majority of its victims under democracy. For most Spaniards it became an aberration, a criminal and terrorist band whose persistence defied explanation. Others, mainly Basques (but only some Basques) understood ETA as the violent expression of a political conflict that remained the unfinished business of Spain's transition to democracy. Such differences hindered efforts to 'defeat' ETA's terrorism on the one hand and 'resolve the Basque conflict' on the other for more than three decades.
The UN is currently in poor health but the severity of its condition is not yet clear, Richard Gowan argues in this paper commissioned by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue for the 2014 Oslo Forum for senior mediators. Gowan assesses the impact of events in South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine for the UN, and warns that the organization's operational and political credibility is weakening.
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Richard Gowan reviews Australia’s time as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Gowan argues that while it has not changed the world, Australia has acquitted itself well, bringing extra rigour and professionalism to the Council’s debates. It has carved out a niche on the issue of humanitarian access in the Syrian conflict, and solidified its reputation as a good international citizen and a serious country.